Thumbs Up To Boehner’s Debt Ceiling Deal Offer

I am not one of those conservatives who thinks we should never raise taxes. Like Reagan, I believe there’s a time and a place for tax increases. However, as I’ve written, “it would be a terrible idea to raise taxes on anybody right now, whether it’s by letting the Bush tax cuts expire or by putting new tax increases into place.”

So, I think John Boehner’s uncompromising refusal to consider any kind of “net tax hike” is a very smart idea.

I also like this,

Boehner has put a sliding-scale price on debt-ceiling increases. Hey, Obama, you want to buy a debt ceiling increase of, say, $2 trillion that would take you past the next election? Fine, the going price is two trillion dollars in real spending cuts. Cannot afford that and hold your spending coaliton in place? Fine, you can buy a month of debt-ceiling relief, worth about $125 billion, for the reduced price of $125 billion in spending cuts. The price of the debt-ceiling hike is the same amount – or more – of real spending cuts.

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Is that good policy? Absolutely. It’s also good politics because it forces the Democrats to put up or shut up.

The game they’ve been playing so far is to claim that both the GOP and the Democrats want to cut spending, but then they don’t propose any spending cuts and they criticize everything the GOP suggests. What Boehner is trying to do here is make them actually live up to their rhetoric. You say you want to control spending? Fantastic. Great, put your cuts on the table and let’s do it.

Also, the Republicans are putting a clear, easy to understand price tag on their vote. You want a debt ceiling increase, here’s how to get it — and it can’t even truthfully be said to be unreasonable unless you admit that the Democrats are lying through their teeth about wanting to cut spending.

This time around, Boehner was even smart enough to build in some wiggle room. Let’s say we ended up doing a 2-for-1 trade and ended up “only” cutting a trillion bucks. That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?

What happens from here? We don’t know, but this is a very good place to begin.

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